My name is Melannie Munera-Goez, and I graduated from Blackstone Valley Prep High School in 2018–the first class to graduate from the school.
This past December, I completed my undergraduate coursework at the University of Rhode Island with a double major in Human Development and Family Sciences, and Spanish. I’m excited to cross the stage and receive my diplomas at URI’s undergraduate commencement ceremony later this month! In addition to being a member of BVP High School’s first graduating class, I’m a Cumberland resident, a proud Latina, and a first-generation college student from a single parent household. I am so honored to be writing this blog on what BVP has meant to me and my family!
BVP has a special and dear place in my heart because it’s helped shape me into the person I am today. Throughout my senior year of high school, I leaned heavily on the support of the College and Career team. As a first-generation college student, they guided me throughout the entire college application process and helped me choose the right school for me–based both on my goals and my family’s finances. I felt prepared for college thanks to their guidance, BVP’s advanced placement offerings, and the opportunity I was given to participate in a dual-enrollment program with Roger Williams University where I earned my certificate of community development. At URI I was able to graduate early by taking a rigorous course load each semester. Finishing undergrad a semester early gave me time to find a full-time job, travel, set personal goals, and spend time with my family.
I have to take a moment to highlight BVP counselor Ashley (Gemma) Johnson. She is kind, patient, and, most importantly, she loves her job. It’s evident based on the dedication she gives to each individual scholar and their family. Ashley also guided me throughout my time at URI by helping me apply for financial aid and navigate unexpected life curves. She’s a mentor I always knew I had in my corner, even after my time at BVP. Thank you to everyone else who’s helped me along the way. I appreciate your time and dedication.
I started interning at BVP following my sophomore year of college–three months after the pandemic began. I helped the Operations team with Chromebook distribution for distance learning so scholars had materials they needed to learn outside of their school building. In February 2022, I joined BVP’s Network Operations team in a full-time capacity, working alongside the Chief Operating Officer and network and school-based operations leads.
“Given how much initiative, reliability, and consistency she showed, it was an easy and exciting decision to offer Melannie a full-time role, making her BVP’s first alumni to become a BVP staff member. Melannie has brought her positive attitude to our office and impressed staff at the Network and at the schools with her hard work so far.” – Chiv Heng, Senior Director of Operations
I chose to come back to BVP because this organization has become a second home. I believe in BVP’s mission of preparing every scholar for success in college and the world beyond. I’ve witnessed its success firsthand. BVP not only challenges me and allows me to grow as a professional, but I’ve also been able to meet great people who love education and who work tirelessly to help each scholar achieve our mission.
As I look to the future, I see myself going back to school to pursue a master’s degree. Although I’m still figuring out what I’d like to study, I know I have a great support system behind me. My younger sister, Samantha, who is currently a senior at BVPHS, will be going to Columbia University in New York this fall for her undergraduate degree. And my mother, who, despite all the odds against her, raised some pretty smart young women and continues to make things happen.
Finally, if you’re a BVP alumni, please consider coming back to BVP to help shape the next generation of leaders!
Melannie Munera-Goez, B.S. & B.A.
BVP Alumna 2018
URI Alumna 2021